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The Magpie

Saturday, December 18th, 2021   |   128 comments

Bordering On Chaos: The Silliness Surrounding The Serious Business Of COVID.

The cliché that something should be avoided like the plague is well and truly out the window, given the lengths some go to NOT avoid this plague.  Concise information and guidelines are lacking, but it’s clear a no lock-down Christmas is a political, not a medical decision. And likely to be temporary.

Bad timing last week meant The Nest didn’t have the time to report on the Astonisher’s worthy but curious latest list about Townsville’s inspirational women. We take a backward glance.

Clr Fran O’Callaghan doesn’t kowtow to the media, especially the Bulletin. She crisply sets the paper straight with a very good question about their blatantly irrelevant and biased reporting.

The Magnis mire deepened again during the week, but Mayor Mullet stays silent on how she came to be tangled up with a borderline legal entity … did she unwittingly invite a drug operation into our city?

Former high flying Townsville legal eagle has his wings clipped … he’ll be on the perch for  the next five years.

And the astounding jaw-dropper from Scott Morrison that should make him hang his head in shame.

As a small Christmas gesture, The ‘Pie will make the weekly begging bowl commercial brief – need money to run the blog, please help out, donation button at the bottom of the blog. Merry Christmas.

Now onward.

Simply Disgraceful

Even The ‘Pie can’t make a joke out of this. When this late item thudded into the inbox, he checked around to ensure it wasn’t a fake news bad-taste joke by anti-Coalition sources.

It isn’t. No wonder he was sacked from Tourism Australia.

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And Sometimes Front Page News Isn’t

The latest well-documented pork barrelling scandal to hit Smirko’s government – which has seen the massive imbalance in government handouts between Coalition and Labor seats – made the top of the news and the front page of all major mainstream outlets … but somehow, not so much in News Ltd. rags.  But never fear, the finely balannced Townsville Bulletin ran the story … on page 47.

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But the folks at The Shovel saw a seasonal upside.

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The COVID Hokey Pokey

Bentley’s reckons we might be getting an unwelcome present this Chrissy.

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All together now:

First you lock yourself in,

Then you lock yourself out,

You pull your mask up,

Then you pull it down,

You’re put into quarantine,

Then you’re let out,

Then you show your vaxxy tick,

 And you wave it all about,

And you turn around,

And ask WTF’s that all about.

Forget vaccine hesitancy, it is clear information hesitancy from the government that is causing unwarranted confusion now. Passing unfair, inconsistent or more importantly, unenforceable laws about health safety has added further stress to a society already bamboozled by an insidious virus that mutates and refuses to go away.

This is how The Magpie saw it all on Thursday.

The Magpie
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Shooting From The Lip

We are constantly exhorted to ‘trust the science’, and that is what sensible and sane people do … but when science gets muddled up with politics and big business, confusion reigns. The last 48 hours have given us graphic examples of reasons to doubt some claims, and for various reasons outside of science, that some are shooting from the lip. And that some people really haven’t got a fucking clue.

Today’s Daily Astonisher front page is fair enough:

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What follows is certainly a confusion when three factors collide … the border opening, the fear of the Delta strain, and then the mysterious new kid on the block, Omicron. There is an informative little box that tells us what we know about Omicron … which is basically, bugger all.

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…and on the same page, a local doc calls for a more measured and thoughtful approach to start us adjusting to the world according to COVID.

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But further in the international pages, we have a conspiracy theorists wet dream.

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The bloke who told the British Parliament overnight that – although no one yet knows what Omicron is or its effects are, it is a ‘severe disease’. And what’s more, if it starts canoodling up with Delta, it had the possibility to mutate into a super COVID virus. The doomsayer in this case is one Dr. Paul Burton. And just who does Dr Burton work for ?

He is the chief health officer for a crowd called Moderna. Yes, that’s right, the same Moderna that is already making a gazillion bucks, pounds, Euros and shekels out of its COVID vaccine. And another deadly super strain of COVID will mean more super profits for his company.

Now let’s be clear here, The Magpie is not suggesting that Dr Burton is pulling a swifty, or lying or exaggerating, or that he doesn’t genuinely believe what he is saying.

But if authorities want us to ‘believe the science’ THEN WHY ASK HIM, OF ALL PEOPLE!! Conflict of interest comes to mind, and he could have reason to paint a worst case scenario. So even if he hasn’t, his information is tainted by his background.

But galloping in on the back of this is our own rodeo trick rider, CHO Paul Kelly, executing a daring mid-ride backflip on the back of the Burton horse to horrify and scare us all … within a space of a few hours, Dr Kelly has gone from describing Omicron ‘mild’ and vaccines were an effective shield, to now saying it might even be able to pass our immune systems and wreak untold havoc.

Add Kelly’s backflip to the policy-on-the-run by Palaszczuk and the border opening, and ,,,, well, Johannes Leak in The Oz sums it up best.


Standing By Her Man – Mayor Mullet Maintains Magnis Is A Goer

There seems every possibility that the Magnis Energy matter may end up with the AFP,  with further damning links to international drug king pins exposed during the week.

Hakan Arif (left) and 'The Facebook Gangster' Hakan Ayik (right)Screen Shot 2021-12-14 at 8.58.38 am

Turkish drug smugglers akan Arif (L) and Hakan Ayik.

These two charmers are a couple of Turkish drug scum, Hakam Arif and Hakan Ayik (r). UK media report have the pair as bosom buddies who boast that they have murdered people and can get away with anything, because they won’t be touched in Turkey. They are believed to be major players in a drug importation network into Australia worth tens of millions, mainly through Sydney and Melbourne. One report gives an interesting detail: this mob use small, one man subs to pick up drug deliveries out at sea, thrown overboard from incoming ships.

In an investigative series, The Australian’s journalist Peter Ross reported that Magnis Energy had appointed Arif as its representative in Turkey. Magnis denied signing up Arif, and initially denied all knowledge of him, until this showed up …

magnis with turking drug smuggler Screen Shot 2021-12-13 at 9.00.03 am

… a pally pic of Hakam Arif in getting convivial with Magnis director Peter Tsegas. It was good enough for one Magnis director to jump ship.

Another former Magnis director, Ulrich Bez, told The Australian he had left after discovering the links with Arif. “I left Magnis … as I did not want to be involved in a company with close contact to drugs,” Mr Bez, the long-time chief executive of Aston Martin until 2013, said.

As The ‘Pie has suggested before, the rollercoaster ride of the Magnis share price – while it is building nothing, no income and has no visible big money behind it –  could possibly have drug money propping it up. The ‘Pie has no evidence of this apart from some very reasonable dot connecting.

Yet our mayor continues to claim ‘good faith’ negotiations – started 5 years ago – are continuing with Imperium3 in New York. Imperium3 is 63% owned by Magnis and CEO Frank Poullas, therefore she’s still dealing with Magnis, despite the public outing of doubtful connections. Doubts certainly strong enough to make a responsible civic leader distance her council from the company. Mayor Mullet is staying mum on the whole issue, and of course the Bulletin ain’t asking any tricky questions … or any questions about it at all actually.

Just why the mayor continues peddling false hope of mega jobs and mega investment is such a transparently dud outfit -which makes one wonder if they had had a hidden agenda in its import-export program through Townsville port – isn’t clear. But questions about her fitness to be in charge of this city may well be asked when the Magnis façade finally comes tumbling down.

In the meantime, Jenny Hill blithely prattles on about swimming pools make-overs, park upgrades, bogus ‘free parking’,  and new sewage facilities. If only she’d stuck to that, and stayed out of the grandstand. But Bentley reckons it’s all seasonal bonhomie down at the Walker Street bunker.

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Clr Fran O’Callaghan Won’t Be In The Queue

Following this story during the week …

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…  which included the following lines …

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… Clr O’Callaghan had this very good question for the Bulletin.

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Craig Warhurst is still in the chair until Christmas, so he’ll have plenty of time to respond to her. After all, it would be quite rude to ignore a question from an elected councillor, wouldn’t it? Difficult question though, there are only two answers … hidden agenda or ignorance.

Former Crown Prosecutor Gets Pokey For Drug Dealing

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For helping mastermind a weed operation, our man got five years, suspended after 18 months. Griffith was a prosecutor in Townsville for many years and swapped over to the defence, before moving back to prosecutions in Cairns. Was always a nice enough bloke, friendly, a bit fidgety and on some occasions appeared to be, shall we say, on the spectrum.

Know this has been mentioned in the Nest before but over lunch once, Griffith told us the story of a visit he made as a defence lawyer to Boggo Road back in the day. He bumped into an old lag whom he had defended. When he mentioned he was staying for lunch, the old lag said, ” Mr Griffith, you always did the right thing by me, so I’ll give you a tip … don’t eat the banana custard’.

Some other unappetising times ahead for the former prosecutor, one imagines.

Ummm, Let’s Think, Now, Who Do We Know Who Might … Oh, The Royal HIM!

Yep, the TCC’s  FIFO CEO and Half Million Dollar Man  Prins ‘The Prince’ Ralston might be facing a few tricky question about one of his many other roles, in this instance, his Gladstone Ports gig.

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This is the ABC report. Choice quote from the story: “Due to concerns over the propriety of decision-making regarding the settlement payments, we reported a significant deficiency to Gladstone Ports.” Queensland auditor-general Brendan Worrall

If Ralston has anything directly to do with the problems at the GPC, or even if it was just an ignorance of the situation by him as a board member (ha! yeah, that’d be it, right), his position as TCC CEO is untenable. In The Magpie’s opinion, it already is, morally and ethically, but unfortunately, not illegally. Yet.

You Gotta Love The Unintentional Goofiness Of The Townsville Bulletin.

Their latest click-bait ‘List of …’ gives us the city’s ‘most inspirational women’. And by and large, most get well deserved recognition for the quiet and dedicated roles they play in the fabric of our society away from the headlines and spin.

But if the paper intended to demonstrate respect for the achievements of the female sector, it tanked out right at the very beginning. When unrelated videos are often plonked in on the website at the start of stories,  messages get mixed. Like this:

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This is wrong in so many ways, and highlights the slapdash mess sometimes caused by a lazy and sloppy News Ltd octopus.

First up, Martha Stewart has nothing to do with the list, she’s not even an Australian let alone a local, and inspiring? And it is hardly respecting women in general let alone inspirational ones, to gossip about their availability on the ‘relationship market’. And despite being a successful businesswoman, the American domestic and cooking goddess is also a convicted jailbird.

From Wiki:
Martha Stewart was not convicted for criminal insider trading charges, although she later had to pay $195,000 to settle a civil case with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In her criminal case, she was found guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and lying to federal investigators in March 2004. The securities fraud charge (related to boosting the stock of her own company) was dismissed.
• Conspiracy: Stewart was found to have conspired with her broker Peter Bacanovic to obstruct justice and make false statements in the ImClone insider trading investigation.
• Obstruction of justice: Stewart was found to have tried to hamper the SEC investigation of her stock sale by providing misleading information and attempting to tamper with a phone message from Bacanovic.
• Lying: Stewart was found to have lied to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the FBI, and federal prosecutors when she claimed she had prearranged with her broker to sell her ImClone stock when it fell below $60 per share. She was also found to have lied about not recalling being told that the family of ImClone founder Samuel Waksal was selling stock.
The conviction resulted in a five-month prison sentence, followed by five months of house arrest and two years of probation.

Inspiring, eh?
So The Magpie initially thought ‘how highly inappropriate,’ but then had another look at the list and thought, OK, maybe fair enough.

Because the list includes one of the city’s most persistent racists, a mendacious mayor who will surely be remembered as the worst and shiftiest in Townsville’s history (and bet she’s pissed off at coming in 3rd behind three well-deserved people the general public has never heard of until now) a race car driver (inspiring? Well, in this city, among our shiftless youth, sure), a former go-to drug dealer who in early days had most of the Cowboys players and staff as regular customers, a psychic/medium who is a ‘Tibetan and Usui Reiki Master (not Mistress? Tut tut ommm) and a radio presenter no one listens to. Oh, and also, the head of TEL.

But the biggest question of all could be a national scoop … is the much-loved Magda Szubanski moonlighting as a Queensland walloper helping combat domestic violence here in the ‘ville.

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And The ‘Pie idly wondered if that was a handcuff visible around her right wrist. god knows, she’d probably need them often.

All jokes aside, The ‘Pie hears Sergeant Feltham is making a big difference in a difficult arena of our society, and deserves all the respect she enjoys.

Actually, with allowances for the jaundiced Magpie view of some inclusions, it was a pretty good list of deserving folks. Although there one or two big-employing businesswomen not there.

AND DID YOU NOTICE, NOT A SINGLE REAL ESTATE AGENT OR THE LIKE INCLUDED. The cynical way the self-interested News Ltd makes these ordinary working agents rock stars is deeply depressing … who cares how much they earn by selling OTHER PEOPLE’S PROPERTY TO OTHER PEOPLE? Well, News cares, because they are far and away the biggest advertisers.

Biden His Time

As the Republican Party implodes, and the January 6th inquiry gathers a mountain of evidence, the trolls are after Joe Biden. And why wouldn’t they be. While his first year has been rocky, and some problems of his own making, Biden is slowly returning some economic stability to America, with some of the highest job numbers in years. Not surprisingly, a Christmas theme has been mixed in with many of the political works in this week’s US gallery.

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Some Fun On Twitter

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And Finally …

If ever a simple picture was worth a thousand words, this is it …



This time of the year is when those who hope to catch us napping make unpalatable policy announcements,  hoping we are distracted enough not to care. So The ‘Pie will remain on duty throughout, and you can, too, comments will continue to run over the Christmas/New Year period. And oh, that donation button you frantically seek is below.

The Magpie's Nest is now more than five years old, and remains an independent alternative voice for Townsville. The weekly warble is a labour of love and takes a lot of time to put together. So if you like your weekly load of old cobblers, you can help keep it aloft with a donation, or even a regular voluntary subscription. Paypal is at the ready, it's as easy as ... well, easy as pie. Limited advertising space is also available.


  1. Mike Douglas says:

    Another Great blog Pie . Christmas / New Year wishes to you and your family and commentators on the blog this year . In regards to the so called “pork barrelling ” by Federal LNP anyone who follows Labor ministers note they spend a large amount of time FIFO all over Australia whinging doing press conferences . Labors Cairns based Senator who has been popping up all across Queensland meeting new Labor candidates in their electorates instead of applying for grants . Regarding Les Walker commentating on the Rum distillery the State has deep pockets besides watch last Councils meeting at about 1 hr , 35 mins when full Council discuss Townsville Tigers shed and allocating land . Council were confused on whether the shed had been built (apparently it had ) on Councils land then Molachino wanted a map of the land . The same Councillors who didnt have the information on a shed are doing Lansdown . Reverend Anne Harley said a prayer for Council which would probadly better focused on rate payers .

    • Old Tradesman says:

      We all know why Les Walker was commenting on the Rumbo Distillery, it will probably be a good place to visit in case he is locked out of the Mad Cow.

      As for Scott Stewart, whether you support Bravus or not, he supports the green helicopter booze flying in scum, and will not authorise the QLd coppers to arrest them for trespass as they constitute part of his voter base. It’s time the three irrelevant blind mice resigned.

      • The Magpie says:

        There’s seems to be some evidence of the popular rumour that Scott Stewart doesn’t know what day it is. Interesting insight in the calendar he sent out to constituents …. it appears to list the first five days of February as actually being the last five days of January … and continues in this vein throughout the year. Handy for doubling up on travel and accommodation allowances.

        • Pedant says:

          And, it seems, through the benevolence of his Guv’ment, we get a multiplicity of 30ths, 31sts and others… a month of Sundays in every week, apparently.

          Fair dinkum, if you can’t even oversee the production of a bloody calendar, you surely can’t be a useful part of the legislature.

          Or maybe that’s exactly the material for which his leaders were looking.

  2. There’s a Nous in the house says:

    FFS, for how much longer do we have to put up with part-time CEO Ponce Ralston? He gutted the Council workforce just a couple of short years ago then returns as CEO to further upset the diminished workforce. He has been here not even a year and is hated as much as the Impaler. He whinges about his excessive workload as CEO and is a pain in the ass to be around. The Prince is another poor decision made by the Mullet and again, we the ratepayer and employees of TCC, are left to take the brunt of her piss poor decision. Townsville really has become a dumping ground for fuckwits. I reckon the Wulguru Poonami need to hold placards outside Council chambers demanding that sewerage emanating from the chamber be plugged.

  3. Nurse Rachit says:

    Received this in the mail and thought the doctor may have asked Les to draw Christmas as he remembers it!

    • Old Tradesman says:

      Didn’t a Labor school teacher create a big hullabaloo about Phil Thompson sending out literature to schools, well there you have it folks in coloured crayons, Labor thinking it is only their right to brainwash the students.

  4. Bentley says:

    Congratulations Mike. First cab off the rank again this morning. The other contributors are possibly still in church judging by their pious prose pertaining to pernicious politics. Compliments of the season to The ‘Pie and readers. Bentley

  5. The Magpie says:

    Coinage of the Month:

    New situations need new words … sometimes. A great one came along this week – beigeification.

    If you cut through the argle-bargle you are left with the beigeification of ministerial manipulation.

    Jommy Tee in the Michael West report on Senate estimates and the newly uncovered Coalition rorts.

  6. Pastor Scott says:

    Morrison is a parasite. More rorts and porkbarelling – coalition seats received nearly $1.4bn more than Labor seats over three years. So let me understand what this ‘leader’ and his band of fucktards have been up to since his government was elected;
    Sports rorts
    Sexual assaults in Parliament House
    Christian Porter affair
    Canceling submarine contracts
    Adding almost $800b in debt
    Destruction of our relationship with China
    Mishandling of COVID pandemic
    Daily lies, deceit, spin and deflection
    Pissing off on holidays during bushfires

    Governments, like all living organisms, suffer from physical entropy. They have a limited life span and their end days are marked by a distinct decline in functionality. That is the perfect description of our evangelising, hands on faith healing, speaking in tongues PM and his mob of outlaws. Three consecutive Liberal terms have fucked up our country worse than any other elected party.

    Our nation ends 2021 in a parlous situation. What the fuck is there to celebrate as we enter 2022?

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, yes, no argument here, but to make things even bleaker, the Labor rule in Queensland has had a similar effect on this state. They’ve just been marginally better at hiding it. The feeling increases that we have nowhere to turn … except in Qld, Crisafulli will give it a red hot go, now that he’s cleaned out the party’s backroom bilge. And if that sounds partisan to you, does that mean you are actually going to vote for this shower, so exemplified by our three local holes in the air. And before anyone wants to make pointless ‘whataboutism’ arguments, stop a moment and think – do you really want A Little Boy Called Smiley as your next premier, that’s our latest looming nightmare.

      As if we haven’t got enough trouble.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      It all balances out in the end, the coalition federal Govt give money to coalition seats and the state Labor party waste it in bogan shitholes, and if you think about it it would be most likely people in the coalition seats pay more tax anyway, just getting some of it back.

    • Al says:

      Crocodile tears from you. Maybe your solution is simple. Don’t vote for anyone. That way you cannot be responsible for any problems.

    • Grumpy says:

      Pastor – you think it was wrong to cancel the submarine contract? Pourquoi?

      • Westie says:

        Submarines have three main uses. One is to sneak up on enemy surface ships that are attacking Australia, and torpedo them. The second use is to lie doggo on the bottom and retaliate with nuclear missiles if an enemy attacks us with nuclear missiles. The third purpose is …well, I’ll come to that.

        When torpedoing surface ships, diesel-electric subs do just as well as nuclear powered ones.

        Nuclear powered submarines have an advantage for the second purpose as they can stay submerged for a very long time. Except of course, Australia does not have any nuclear missiles, so that purpose is moot.

        Nuclear submarines have a disadvantage in that they are much more expensive, and rely on (potentially unreliable- Trump, anyone) allies to provide the skills to build and maintain them.

        So what is the rationale for cancelling partially built diesel submarines and ordering expensive nuclear ones on the never never.

        Well, we come to the third use of nuclear submarines- they make a great ANNOUNCEMENT. A confluence of sports rorts, Brittany Higgens, and Climate Action derision meant that a big diversion was needed. Screw national security. Screw diplomacy. Screw reliable defence procurement. Nuclear submarines are a BIG announcement which should have kept the other embarassments out of the news cycle for at least a week.

        Pity that Macron did not cooperate.

        • Old Tradesman says:

          Wait till Brittany gets in the box and puts hand on the Bible, the barristers will have a field day. The female security guard who covered her up will tell all.

        • Grumpy says:

          Where on earth did you get the silly idea that diesel subs are better than nukes? The nukes are faster, quieter and a whole lot deadlier than the French tractors. Even more so – where did you get the fucking ludicrous idea that the French make better allies than the Yanks?

          • The Magpie says:

            Small point but big hypocrisy … in negotiations late in the day, the French offered nuclear, and Australia opted insisted on diesel.

          • Alahazbin says:

            Pie, Wasn’t it that the French only offered diesel power, as they weren’t prepared to share their nuclear technology with Australia.

          • The Magpie says:

            Can’t confirm, but seem to remember that the Frogs, feeling the heat and knowing things were dragging somewhat, at one stage did offer a nuclear deal. But need to confirm that, just going on memory of reading that in a story just after ScoMo stabbed them in the l’ arrière … didn’t even have the guts to stab them in the front.

          • Mangrove Jack says:

            Small correction, Diesel Powered submarines are quieter when running under water using Electric Power.

          • The Magpie says:

            Ummm … what?

          • The Magpie says:

            Need a bloody long cable. And waterproof too.

        • Al says:

          Westie, got the bull by the tits again, methinks

        • Cynical Cricket says:

          I just like the fact that we’ll have a submarine that can go around Australia without refueling.

  7. Interested observer says:

    Please, please tell me it isn’t true.
    A friend who works at TUH told me yesterday that if covid breaks out in Townsville the plan to free up hospital beds is to transfer the not-so-sick regular patients into hotel accommodation.
    I didn’t believe it at first, but then I remembered the State Government’s “make it up as you go along” covid policy.
    It sounds exactly like something Anna and her 31 spin doctors would come up with.
    Could it be that Anna has kept the Queensland border shut, not to “keep us safe” but to avoid exposing the sorry state of our health/hospital system?

  8. Guy says:

    For what it’s worth: the urea problem you might have heard about.

    Did you know urea can be made from coal ? You don’t need LNG. There’s a yank company that builds these kinds of plants.

    Its preferable to use LNG because the process is less complicated and cleaner. Of push comes to shove coal can be used – syn gas is created by heating the coal. The final step is combining a carbon monoxide molecule with NH2 gas. The process creates problematic waste such as mercury but like the zinc refinery you blast it with chlorine gas to create mercury chloride ( in the same way as Blasting sodium with chlorine gas would create sodium chloride ( table salt).

    There’s other heavy metals in coal but they can be removed and stored safely elsewhere as industrial waste. You’d need safe storage but it’s doable.

    As an aside in chemical matters knowing the magpie would like some juicy morsel in a dry chemistry lecture – in some cases you can sell industrial waste for example where you add the nefarious toxic waste of the aluminium industry to the water supply to help people’s teeth as the fluoride component).

    Nefarious chemicals always get a bit of a bad rap, take 1080 poison beloved of Australian farmers – it was originally invented by the Nazis as a chemical warfare agent to kill concentration camp prisoners and rejected because it was too darn dangerous – who would have thought it could be doing so much good and proudly used by Australia to kill animals.

    Back on topic

    If Australia could use coal to make urea we’d essentially have the capacity to supply farming and anyone else in Australia with as much urea as they wanted ( as long as waste by-products could be stored safely and effectively).

  9. Guy says:


    Ammonia and ammonium nitrate combine with the carbon at the end of the process.

    The LNG process is cleaner I’d bet.

    Oh yes, much of the process can be used to make diesel

    • Nickster says:

      Why not use the LNG being sourced for QPM’s Tech Project at Lansdown wcsecure.weblink.com.au/pdf/QPM/02405734.pdf it would make sense to have urea manufacturing in NQ

      Australia needs to be careful we do sold out by others who are spinning the climate change story telling us to be carbon neutral while they prepare to open new coal mines. Some hypocrisy from the U.K. https://www.bbc.com/news/explainers-56023895

  10. Magnis 2.0 says:

    CopperString 2.0 is very close to Magnis territory in terms of spin, dreams, and puffery.

    Here is a list of a few things why CuSting 2.0 will go the way of CuS1.0 and it will never happen, despite John O’brien being affable bloke;

    – Long distance power transmission lines are old technology, energy inefficent & remote off-grid power generation via solar, diesel etc with batteries make them redundant
    – Ergon connection costs to the transmission line are cost probative & the power and collusion of Qld Govt State owned energy corporations ensures Queensland won’t have it
    – The “real” costs to build and operate are too high & numbers used in original feasibility are significantly outdated lacking appropriate escalation metrics
    – Not enough customers & major energy users out west have already got more than enough electricity with new customers looking at on-site renewables
    – Too much spruiking that has worn out its welcome where CuSting 2.0 is a “magic it can do everything investment” where J O’b pops at any meeting, forum, event invited or otherwise promoting its credentials as an energy cure-all.

    • Duncan Biscuit says:

      Copper String is nothing more than a tax payer funded ponzi scheme. What happened to the State and their often trotted out line during the Adani build? If it is so good, why wont banks fund it? Why does the taxpayer need to fund a private investment in infrastructure? If it was so vital to the future of Northern Australia, why isn’t the State building it? State owned corporates own all of the other transmission capability in the State? Could it be the same reason AnnaP wont fund Lansdown – it does not stack up?

    • Tenacious D says:

      I think you miss the point of CU 2.0

      This will be the first generating transmission line that I am aware of in the world. There are many plans for solar etc along the route, so unlike traditional transmission lines that take power from a genterator to a network, this one takes on energy during it route.

      The biggest challenge in building a solar farm is proximity to transmission lines.

      This is no Magnis

  11. Avogadro's Number says:

    After seeing the item about the Bulletin not bothering to seek comment from Fran O’Callaghan in relation to a plan for a distillery in her Division, perhaps it is time for the Bulletin to review their motto of ” We’re for you “. They should get rid of that redundant apostrophe and start using the new improved motto : ” Were for you – But not any more “

  12. Cantankerous but happy says:

    A question for the Townsville chamber of commerce, why do you keep grovelling and sucking up to Jenny Hill with all sorts of online podcasts and inviting her to all sorts of events whilst at the same time privately bagging the shit out of her and this council for all sorts of problems Townsville business currently has, what a pack of hypocrites.

  13. Da Reel Nooos says:

    Experts call for a halt to reopening plans and a return to normal amid their ‘rapid return to irrelevance’

    Experts are warning against the government’s approach to reopening as the country records an increase in Australian’s having a gut full of the continual fear, and panic hyped by the previously unheard-of experts.

    Leading previously unknown epidemiologists, professors, political commentators, lockdown experts and spin doctors are urging a rethink of Australia’s current reopening plans as outbreaks of common-sense surge.

    On Sunday leading experts and fear mongers, including Lisa May Dye, and Phil Graves, at the B.A. Ware Institute, and Professor Justin Sane, director of the Willie Stroker Institute, are calling for a return to restrictions “for a few years, maybe even decades” while the country gets more frightened about on Omicron’s severity and its ability to evade vaccines.

    Dye, who advised the Palaszczuk Government on Queensland’s “Open Shut Them” border plan sees living with COVID-19 as the end of the financial gravy train experts have been enjoying, said we should dramatically slam on the brakes on reopening plans as concerns grow about the Omicron variant, calling for the return of mask-wearing, indoors, outdoors and anywhere a human is breathing. Dye went further urging government to consider banning breathing as there is a strong link between breathing and the spread of COVID-19.

    Deputy acting relief chief medical officer, Anna Prentice also voiced concerns at a press conference in on Sunday, where she told reporters the increasing frequency common-sense was highly transmissible and before too long her and other scare merchants would need to retreat back to obscurity, a place they have lived for nearly all of there careers.

    The Christmas and New Year period is a terrible time for spin doctors she said, nobody comes to focus groups, and nobody watches or reads mainstream media these are worrying times.

    Prentice said her like other soon to be irrelevant experts will use the break reflect on their brief moment in the spotlight and look fondly on her crypto currency fortune that has amassed from untraceable kick backs from big pharma over the pandemic.

    • The Magpie says:

      As The ‘Pie has observed here before, Humour is SOOOO difficult, isn’t it? Almost as hard as understandable English.

  14. Delta goodridens says:

    Well how about all the so called experts now yelling that masks be on again and some form of lockdown needed because of high case numbers. For 12 mths we’ve been told by these experts, get vaccinated it will protect you, get vaccinated to stop spread. The only person with enough balls to tell them life goes on is the NSW premier. These experts are afraid of being pushed to the back of news bulletins now that the population has said, “ we’ve got vaccinated now fuck off”

    Same goes for the labor premiers, pallashit and McClown, Gutless(NT) and the marshmallow in SA. They fear the public not being interested in them so the fear needs to be kept up. The virus is getting weaker and is starting to become less aggressive but the health experts don’t want to tell us this for fear of loosing self importance. We have a massive advantage of over 90% vaccinated so when the virus hits them guess what its mutations because less harmful. Epidemiology 101. I even learnt that in biology at school when reading about measles and chicken pox.

    Most masks don’t work and the studies that prove this get banned from social media. I’m definitely for wearing masks around people in hospital and aged care or if you know your going to be around someone with immunity problems. But the rest of us live free. You have to wear a mask to walk in somewhere for food but then proceed to sit and eat without one on all the while breathing out the virus into the air con setting. The country has gone mad with power to restrict not power to resolve. Fuck masks and the governments, live life now we’ve done what you asked

    • The Magpie says:

      Oh shut up and just do it, whimpo.

      • F Wit says:

        Hey there Pie, I think Delta is Butter-FLOG – same ‘style’, same attempted ‘grab’ for affirmation as a few of ‘their’ other posts.

      • Achilles says:

        Hear-Hear, I lost a dear friend of over 50 years, he was unable to to get vaccinated due to his location O/S.
        The last photo of him taken 1 day before he died shows him with tubes stuck everywhere and an expression I will never forget.
        Just DO IT.

    • Grumpy says:

      Forget the dunny paper – Alfoil is flying off the shelves.

  15. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    The Wagner’s Wellcamp quarantine facility is due for completion early next year. What are the odds that Anna P reintroduces compulsory quarantine in a govt facility (Wellcamp) for positive COVID cases just after New Year? Based on advice from the health experts of course, and in the interest of keeping Queensland safe.

    Interesting comment by Dr Gerard our new CMO that (as of Monday) 56 COVID cases were in hospital across the state but only one was in hospital for medical reasons, which seems like a ridiculous waste of hospital and medical resources if they are being used purely as a isolation facility for known positive cases even if they do not need medical intervention or care.

    Is that the ultimate plan for Wellcamp……the equivalent of a modern day leprosarium?

  16. NQ Gal says:

    Congratulations to the 3 blind mice MP’s for Townsville being awarded Supreme Shithole of the Year. The government’s inaction resulted in the untouchable kiddy crims keeping us in the Top 10 for virtually the entire year.
    Take a bow Harpic, Private Cupcake and Messagebank

    • Nickster says:

      I’ve never seen a more appropriate accolade laid at the feet of our city’s civic leaders.

      While other communities have dealt with their challenges and turned adversity into prosperity. Townsville’s leaders continue with petty squabbling, where politics is the only priority.

      It’s a shame that such a putrid stain has been left on this once thriving city. While the FB page is there for humor, it will be a perception that will be hard to shift.

      • The Magpie says:

        You’re perception is 100% correct. STOA is low-level humour, but mud sticks. Given the tone of the site, it is doubtful anyone likely to be headed north would be subscribing to it, but it will still show up in Google searches.

        And sad to say, if someone was thinking of moving here with family for work, what they will glean from several sites, including this one, is reality, not perception.

    • Interested observer says:

      And Jenny.

  17. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    Correction to my earlier comment:

    Dr Gerrard (correct spelling) said 66 COVID positive people in hospital across the state but only one for medical reasons.

    • Achilles says:

      There may be good reason for this. I spent 2 weeks in hotel “quarantine” in Brisbane back in March. It was isolation but NOT quarantine, as the occupants of the rooms each side of mine were smokers, and the smoke wafted into my room, so a portion of that smoke must have come from the lungs of the occupants.

  18. Cantankerous but happy says:

    HAHAHA, Townsville has less state public servants than a year ago , Walker, Stewart and Harpic screwing Townsville once again, but still this is what the people of Townsville voted for.


    • The Magpie says:

      Ummm, serious question: is The ‘P{ie correct in believing LG i.e. TCC – employ ‘public servants’ who would be counted in these stats? If so, external contracting using less workers would be a factor.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Qld Govt Public servants only, not councils, health, education, police, prisons, ambos, etc etc. Makes one ask who is going backwards, is the Townsville hospital losing staff, Townsville police numbers going down, there are 141 less in Townsville than 12 months ago, yet in Cairns is 381 up for the last 12 months, and Cairns has received 2268 extra staff over the last 5 years, Townsville only 1152, imagine if we had a paper in this town who gave a shit and actually asked why.

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          Missed a word, so to be clear the number includes education, police, health, etc, etc, hard to imagine a place like Townsville needs less of those than it did a year ago.

        • The Magpie says:

          Looks like nother is heading for the ‘in’ queue at the Bulletin staff turnstiles.

          • Dave of Kelso says:

            “Engage with and represent the Greater Townsville community?”

            This will be interesting to watch.

          • The Magpie says:

            ‘represent’? The ‘Pie missed that election.
            And should the old bird flatter himself and his fellow Nesters as ‘Lesser Townsville’?

            S till, easy to come a cropper when pre-judging.

  19. Elusive Butterfly says:

    Hey F Wit…your nickname is perfect!

  20. The Magpie says:


    The Risk versus Reward idiocy of the Palaszczuk Government.

    Brett Lethbridge in the Courier Mail.

    The Magpie believes in vaccination (doubled dosed already, waiting for booster – and yes, still alive, to the dismay of some), wearing masks to avoid nasties (microbe and human) and generally agreeing with the cautionary advice from science. And he agreed with the check-in procedure, even in places like supermarkets.

    Until now.

    Like a majority of like-minded folk, The Magpie is now ‘check-in hesitant’ where he can get away with it, because of the Palaszczuk regulations that make it a personal gamble, whther you’re vaxxed or not. Will you risk ruining Christmas and New Year with your family on a government, politically-motivated whim (mainly a threat but still there as enforceable). Or will you risk some no-neck uniformed security fuck-wit over exercising his/her authority and make life unacceptably and unreasonably difficult. Or, as in the majority of cases in unenforceable law, getting away with it.

    For instance, one might duck into Coles, grab something from aisle 3 and leave after paying (well that’s the MO for all except certain western suburbs). But during that brief visit, someone in the dairy section over in aisle 22 is also present, and later that day is found to have some variety of COVID. So all who have checked in within the same timeframe will be ordered to isolate, because there is no way to determine ‘close contact’ with a shop full of people.

    So what we see now is … and yes, The ‘Pie has watched it going on … many are faking check-in with a general airey wave of the phone as they scoot past … or simply ignoring the requirement altogether.

    Bad laws and bad governance actually encourage civil disobedience (as in this case) and even outright criminality (as in the limp wristed ‘help yourself’ response to the state-wide juvenile crime wave).

    • No More Dredging says:

      I take great pride in ‘pretending’ to do a COVID assign-in when I enter shops, restaurants and any other location that has the silly barcode on their entrance. I pretend to sign in, usually holding up my phone and making it look like I am signing in. Or I walk around the backs of other people or often wait for the shop owner or waitress to be busy attending other people or doing other things and I just walk straight in. They can stick their COVID mandate up their ass ang go fuck themselves. I have t been complying and I won’t be changing anything in the future. What do you think of that Mr Stephen Miles?? Dipshits.

      • The Magpie says:

        Good God, Dredger, we thought you’d been ‘promoted to glory’ as the Salvos say. But here you are back again.

        Now regarding your comment. Polite question: are you fully vaxxed? And do you wear a mask when it is required? Because if you do neither, then it is not what Smiley Miles thinks, it was the person standing next to you in a public place thinks of you – if they knew.

      • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

        You are fucking us all dickhead. Why do you think they are being so heavy handed, it’s because wankstains like you can’t be trusted to do the right thing.

        We don’t need a system of laws if people don’t break them.

      • Old Tradesman says:

        Congratulations, you have just confirmed what I have always thought, anyhow have a Merry Christmas.

    • The Wulguru Wonder says:

      Hear hear Mr Magpie.

      To be effective, laws must be proportionate and adapted to achieve their objective, and enforced consistently and transparently. Criminalising conduct alone will not change behaviour or attitudes.

      Criminological research has amply demonstrated that if we see laws as lacking credibility we are less likely to comply with them.

      • Check it out says:

        Easy way to avoid that check in is to screenshot a previous check in if you use the same shop alot. When staff look they see the name but won’t check the date. Been doing this since it started

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        The laws must also protect the law abiding.

        We are talking about the nocturnal, and now broad daylight, house breaking, car stealing, above the law, juvenile snots, aren’t we?

        • STASI says:

          To be safe pin up a QR code on your door so house breakers can check in safely. Victims of crime may be prosecuted if QR codes aren’t available for the community’s safety.

  21. Old Tradesman says:

    So we are having a Covid emergency and the bumbling Queensland Health Minister D’ath goes on holidays. Could it be to Hawaii?

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      It is highly likely that her Department will function better without her.

    • Prince Rollmop says:

      Old Tradesperson, she probably went to the Phillipines to get her teeth fixed..

      • mundingbird says:

        And some speech therapy Elmer……..

      • The Magpie says:

        Whilke The ‘Pie usually discourages and mostly discards disparaging physical remarks, The ‘Pie must admit he has always wondered at the wisdom of having a health minister who boasts a bottom front row of teeth that looks more like a graph of one of the more challenging mountain stages of the Tour de France.

  22. Mike Douglas says:

    Aaron Harpers fb post trying to defend delays for Defence force personnel in getting back to Townsville for Christmas just opens the doors on Aarons delusional picture on his Governments fiction vs fact . Aaron and his staff ( paid by taxpayers) have blocked any dissenting feedback on his fb page so all he gets is his sycophant Labor mates because Aaron only likes praise . Lets not forget he is one part of a ” power couple ” of the City so “let them eat cake ” . Aaron would be best served ringing around a few industry groups to here about all the cancelled Hotel , Resturant bookings because scarring people by quarantining full planes and 14 days if you are a close contact , both decisions changed has put a dent in peoples confidence .

  23. Prince Rollmop says:

    Interesting article linked below regarding Moreton Shire Council and how it’s equivalent to TEL, MBRIT, gets fed a tonne of money, yet Council don’t disclose exactly what the money gets spent on. It’s the same modus operandi that Team Hill and TCC employ. This ‘commercial-in-confidence’ bullshit needs to be stopped. Councils are using loopholes in local government legislation to circumvent good, honest and transparent governance. I would like to see the ABC, under FOI, try to examine aspects of TEL and TCC’s books. That would get the Mullet and the smelly part-time CEO Prince running for cover!


  24. Interested observer says:

    Dredger, you and Miles have a lot in common.
    Both wankers.

    • No More Dredging says:

      Thanks Uninterested Observer. I take that as a compliment. Deputy Premier Miles has done a marvellous job under extreme pressure, managing the day to day functionality of our State during these unprecedented times. Another quality Labor product who will one day be Premier. Now that is a benchmark we all strive to meet. Cheers

  25. One legged tap dancer says:

    Your rates at work number 4,568:
    In last Saturday’s Townsville Bulletin I couldn’t help but notice a full page advertisement, in colour, urging readers to donate to the Mayor’s Christmas Appeal.
    The Townsville City Council logo which appeared at the top of the advertisement suggests that it was paid for with ratepayers money.
    There is no Townsville Bulletin logo so it obviously wasn’t a News Limited charitable freebie, and I cannot recall such an advertisement being placed in the local paper for the Mayor’s Christmas Appeal in the past.
    This raises some questions, for example:
    – how much did the advertisement cost
    – would the money have been better spent as a donation to the actual appeal, rather than going into News Limited coffers
    – is this part of a contract between Townsville City Council and Townsville Bulletin for a minimum annual spend of ratepayers money on advertising in the local paper
    – what benefits does Jenny Hill receive in return for her considerable annual spend
    Ratepayers deserve answers to these questions from our Mayor or council CEO, Prins Ralston.
    I look forward to receiving them.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      G’day One-Leg, afraid it’s ‘Commercial in Confidence’ old mate, like most other financial matters in the TCC………:)

  26. Not the ECQ says:

    Hi there peeps. Just wishing you lots of fun over the Xmas break and letting you know that I’m thinking of you all back in Australia under the Morrison totalitarian regime. Please be safe and kind to each other and I look forward to one day being back with you all in Townsville in the near future.
    God bless

  27. Mike Douglas says:

    Townsville wins another award!

    Congratulations to our 3 State MP,s and Mayor Hill who runs a protection racket with Budget direct naming Townsville as the epicentre of breakins over the Christmas with 22 break-ins per 10,000 . Townsville was well ahead of Albury at 12.9 break-ins per 10,000 , Ballarat 11.5 . The Mayor announced a plan in July which would fix this and received large feature by the Astonisher . It must be like Aarons secret plan ” commercial in confidence ” .

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      This would validate Townsville being awarded 1st place by Shit Towns of Australia.

    • Occam’s Razor says:

      Mike Douglas up to his old tricks. Cherry picking info and stories to suit his narrow political narrative. Like most people in Townsville I’m fed up with car thefts and break-ins, and let’s face it most break-ins are to pilfer the keys to the cars. Typically Mike, however, like so many others offers only his pointed critique without a scintilla of constructive offering. Negative politics is the easiest of riffs. Abbott mastered it and got into the lodge on the back of it and then proceeded to show all of Australia his skills as a negative politician did not translate to those of leadership. Ring any bells Mike? Back to his post and here is some food for thought. The indigenous population % in Ballarat is 1.4%, Albury about 2.5% and Townsville a tic above 8%. Given its census data the Townsville number probably higher. Do I have a solution. Other than to lock a whole lot of Murray kids up for a long stint which is the most base of the options, no I do not. But what i do appreciate is the enormous task at hand that ANY politician of ANY persuasion would have in improving the situation. I certainly don’t see any solutions coming from rock throwers like Douglas, Phillip Thomson etc….,..all care and no responsibility. Oh and by the way someone asked a question about the Chamber of Commerce earlier this week. If Mike Douglas is who I think he is I’m sure he’d have some insights.

      • The Magpie says:

        Rock throwers? FUCKING ROCK THROWERS?

        That stunningly partisan comment gets the My Mother Drunk Or Sober Megaphone Award for the loyalest of loyal Labor kneelers.

        Since when does it become ‘negative’ to make a valid comment on a community issue of such damaging importance? And who else is responsible for the situation if it isn’t our elected representatives? Citizens try it and they then (rightly) become perpetrators as vigilantes, so who else? And you neatly skip around the bleedin’ obvious point that our three Labor galoots are not so much taken to task for the their failure to solve the problem, but because they refuse to acknowledge there is a problem, or at least it’s alarming extent, with Harper making inane statements about the crime rate dropping and the matter is in hand … when clearly it is anything but.

        And you say ‘I certainly don’t see any solutions coming from rock throwers like Douglas, Phillip Thomson etc … all care and no responsibility’. So tell us how an ordinary concerned citizen and a Federal MP can show more ‘care and responsibility’ on an issue they have no legal say in controlling or ending.

        More to the point, your hypocritical hanky wringing about their lack of a solution begs the question – what is your solution? If you haven’t got any, then you, old chum, are the lowest of the low … a rock thrower throwing rocks at those you call rock throwers.

        Occam’s fucking Razor indeed.

      • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

        Wow, so it’s a race problem rather than a crime problem. Thanks for clearing that up Cutthroat. It’s no wonder you and the rest of the ALP faithless can’t manage anything.

    • Nickster says:

      You can count on Jenny Hill wailing that insurance costs sky rocketing are a Federal issues.

  28. Critical says:

    Thanks for the international Festive Season present your useless fuckwits Mayor Idiot Hill, Anna Pala. whatever and the three useless creatures we call local MP’s.


  29. Achilles says:

    So much for all the grandiose speeches and phony guarantees by all sides.
    Taiwan will be rolled over the same as Hong Kong is being “absorbed” right now.

    Either manipulative internally or forcibly externally, its now inevitable as the litmus-paper test of subjugation of Hong Kong has satisfied resulting expectation.

    I recall the Yes Prime-Minister episode where everyone tried to look the other way about the invasion of St. Georges Island


    • The Magpie says:

      Think you will find Taiwan a somewhat more tough nut to crack, and with more international security implications that a chunk of the mainland like HK.

      • Geopolitician says:

        Russia will take the Ukraine and China will take Taiwan. Russia and China are trading in gold and both countries in partnership are creating their own currency and pushing to destabilise the US dollar from being the global standard. The next 2 or 3 years will be huge as these superpowers continue to weaken the crumbling USA. The West is fucked.

      • Achilles says:

        When I was based in Hong Kong 25 years ago, I had responsibility to support our Taiwan Branch. I used to go over every month for about a week.

        It seemed that there were two Taiwan’s the North Taipei which was dull and fairly boring (like Beijing) where as the south Taichung was exotic and industrious like Shanghai/Hong Kong.

        Beijing seems to be targeting the north where mainland sympathies seem to lay.

        I hope I’m wrong but seeing the turning of Western “blind eyes” on the undermining of Hong Kong I have reservations. You’ll probably Tony Abbot or Malcolm Turnbull make a visit to Beijing and return to Australasia waving a piece of paper bellowing “Peace in our time”. Seems history has a nasty habit of repeating itself.

        Happy Christmas ‘Pie and everyone, even to the negative moaners.

  30. Interested observer says:

    Note that the Townsville – Shithole of the Year story has been published in most of the nation’s newspapers (strewth, TEL will be claiming the award is putting Townsville on the map), but its nowhere to be seen in the Townsville Bulletin.
    Our local rag’s sister publication, the Courier Mail, has given the Shithole award story the full treatment, but somehow it has escaped the notice of our local editor.
    Wouldn’t have anything to do with the amount of taxpayer money spent by the Queensland Labor Government and Townsville’s Labor council puppet show, would it?

    • The Magpie says:

      It certainly hasn’t escaped the attention of Mr Warhurst … and in his position, he can hardly be criticised for not reinforcing a satirical but nonetheless damaging joke about Townsville.

      Think about it … if you were the editor, would you run a silly satirical smack down of a your city, and give it wider currency to its undergraduate humour.

  31. J Jones says:

    Haven’t posted as much this year. Just worn out by everything
    However merry Christmas and happy new year to you pieman and all who love and respect you.

  32. The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

    Great to see the new QLD COVID pathway to safety or whatever it’s called, which seems to amount to printing out your own toe tag for the hospital.

    Waiting expectantly to see how our ALP trolls spin this.

  33. Interested observer says:

    Update on the Townsville – Shithole of the Year story: it has now disappeared from the news.com.au and couriermail.com.au websites, but can still be found on other sites thanks to Mr Google.

  34. The Magpie says:

    One of the great writers and essayists of the past 100 years, Joan Didion, has died, after a long struggle with Parkinsons. She was 87.


    In truth, I have never read her longer works, but I have marvelled at the incomparable prose of her many essays and in particular, her searing and profound assessments as a book reviewer (NYT mostly) … all the more devastating for never being catty, but scathing with intelligent insight. But when on occasion, she praised someone, she did it in a way that expanded on that author’s core point, burnishing it so it shone ever brighter.

    But she knew that she did not come often to the keyboard to praise, because she knew the core truth of writing – ‘(We) writers are always selling somebody out. I am so physically small, so temperamentally unobtrusive, and so neurotically inarticulate that people tend to forget that my presence runs counter to their best interests”.

    She was the ultimate proof of Graham Greene’s observation that there is a splinter of ice in the heart of a writer.

    But in Didion’s case, that splinter often glinted so sharply that it shed light into many hidden corners of the human condition with unflinching honesty.

  35. Tom Darlington says:

    Pie have had troublle comminicating for some time but wish you and your contrributors all sesons greetings keep it up mare

  36. Prince Rollmop says:

    Magpie, love the blog and the work you put in to it. Also enjoy the occasional different point of view we both have. Anyhoo, have a safe, enjoyable and relaxed New Years break ye old bastard. Cheerio

    • The Magpie says:

      Thanks, Soused Herring , to you too.

      Not a full break, some folks have been annoying during the week, so perhaps a brief nest on Sunday … maybe.

  37. Al says:

    Christmas Greetings to you and yours, and a great year ahead. Cheers Mate

  38. Dave Sth says:


    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. As much as I hate to admit it we will be back next year. Work down this way has dried up and I have something in the winds up there plus a house I own to live in.

    Best wishes and prosperity for the new year, I’ll have a look see what I can do as well ;-)

    Please keep keeping these dishonest bastards some semblance of honest!

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